Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that gave women the right to an abortion. More specifically, and importantly, they found the right to an abortion under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment that we all have a fundamental “right to privacy”. Any laws that prohibited an abortion would be subject to strict scrutiny by the Courts.
Much has been made of the plaintiff, Roe expressing her regrets for her abortion. She had gone back and forth on this issue, and honestly I feel that she was taken advantage of by both sides. She was paid by the right to recant her wish for an abortion, and stated in the 2020 documentary, AKA Jane Roe that she hadn’t ever supported the antiabortion movement.
Roe’s holding was reaffirmed in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in 1992 while at the same time overruling the trimester framework established in the Roe decision and moved from “strict scrutiny” to “undue burden”.
In 2022, the Supreme Court overruled Roe with their ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that the right to an abortion was not “deeply rooted in the Nation’s history or tradition.”
This is false, and it is simply Justice Alito (and his cohorts) grasping at straws and making law whole cloth from their beliefs which violate the Constitution as well as basic human rights of women to their own bodily autonomy. In the ruling, they also included questioning rights now recognized as to contraception, interracial marriage, and marriage equality (same-sex marriage). Some on the right are suggesting we take another look at those rights already enshrined in law (and common sense, to be quite honest).
Abortions have been happening for as long as there’s been pregnancy. The real value of legal abortion is safety. When abortions are illegal, women are less safe. In addition, many, if not all of the proponents of eliminating legal abortion have no idea how pregnancy and birth works. They throw out terms that they don’t understand, pass laws, and criminalize medical care for women under the guise of stopping abortion.
Since Dobbs, women have died from miscarriages that weren’t treated; ectopic pregnancies that were left to fester. Women have lost the ability to have more children because of doctors waiting for the last minute to help women, afraid that anything they do to save the woman will create a liability for themselves and their facilities.
The right set up pregnancy centers who lie to women and scare them and do not give them all of their options as far as family planning and abortion. If their way is the right way, why do they need to lie?
This is horrifying, and it needs to end.
Women need to be able to make informed decisions on their family planning, their pregnancies, their terminating or continuing of pregnancies. My daughter has less rights than her grandmother had.
In addition to our activism and raising our voices, we need to contact our Congresspeople and especially Leader Jeffries, and have them bring a bill to the floor and pass it to make the Supreme Court more modern. The last time the Supreme Court was changed with respect to number of justices was with the Judiciary Act of 1869 during the Grant Administration. We currently have nine justices and thirteen circuit courts. We should have 13 justices to correspond to the circuits. For those saying that this is packing the Court, it is unpacking the Court that Mitch McConnell gave us by blocking President Obama’s duly chosen nominee in 2019 and then reversing his “logic” and pushing through Amy Coney Barrett while we were in the middle of an election. Literally while voting was happening.
We can’t stop speaking out.
The only way we can solve this disparity and reproductive health crisis is by reinstating Roe, expanding it, and codifying it into law.